- Substandard Meters, Transformers Imported Into Nigeria — FG
The Federal Government on Thursday said it was worrisome to note that substandard power equipment like transformers and meters were being imported into Nigeria despite the presence of regulators at the ports.
It, therefore, called for an increased presence of sector-specific regulators to help check the inflow of fake electrical equipment in order to save lives and property, as well as improve the output from the nation’s power sector.
The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Shehuri, disclosed this in Abuja at the official presentation of the conditions of service of the Nigerian Electricity Management Services Agency and the inauguration of NEMSA’s security surveillance equipment.
He said, “Today, if you see the quality of the products we use, either as electrical appliances in our homes or others, they are far below standard. We are not only talking of meters, but we are also talking of transformers that are used by Discos, as well as transformers used by the TCN (Transmission Company of Nigeria) in the transmission sector.
“So, I see a situation where NEMSA ought to have an office at the ports to help reduce the inflow of such substandard equipment.”
On security surveillance equipment, he said the facility would enable the agency’s management at the headquarters to monitor in real-time the day-to-day operations and activities in its three national meter test stations located in Lagos, Kaduna and Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Corroborating what the minister said as regards substandard electrical equipment, the Managing Director, NEMSA, Peter Ewesor, told journalists on the sidelines of the event that the development had contributed to making the country’s power network unstable.
He said, “We discovered that our networks these days are no longer stable. And they are not stable because they were not constructed well. People construct network today and you see the facilities becoming fast older than what was properly built years back and this is actually affecting the quality and delivery of power supply to Nigerians.”
Ewesor also noted that the surveillance system that was inaugurated by the minister would boost the monitoring of power equipment assets in the identified locations, adding that the system had inbuilt storage data recording memory and provides multiple operational functions.
“These functions include real-time tracking, live viewing, video playback, download, alarm viewing and query logs for future retrieval and use. The surveillance equipment will enhance security and monitoring of NEMSA’s power infrastructure in our widespread facilities nationwide remotely at the headquarters in Abuja,” he added.
On the conditions of service that was officially unveiled by Shehuri, the NEMSA boss stated that the document would benefit employees of the agency and would be applied judiciously in the daily operations of NEMSA.
FG Asks Customs to Ground Private Jets over Failure to Pay Import Duties
The Federal Government of Nigeria has instructed the Nigerian Customs Service to ensure the grounding of 91 private jets, which are owned by some particularly rich Nigerians, over the payment of import duties.
The individuals in question have allegedly refused to pay their import duties, which are running up to about N30 billion. This has prompted the Federal Government to make the call to ground their private jets.
The Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd.) has since written a letter to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) instructing the agencies to ground the concerned private jets with immediate effect.
The letter was dated November 2, 2021 and was addressed to the Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu. The same letter was also sent and addressed to the Managing Director of the FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu and the Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu.
In the letter, the three addressed agencies were instructed to ground the private jets by refusing them proper administrative and operational flight clearances until further notice.
The letter went ahead to state that the indefinite refusal of administrative and operational flight clearances will be lifted once the Nigerian Customs Service has issued an Aircraft Clearance Certificate, and the certificate is provided to the agencies as evidence of cooperation.
Nairaland’s findings report that some of the private jets which are victims of the grounding order are owned by senior pastors of some Pentecostal churches across the country, Chief Executive Officers of some earlier oil companies, the Chairmen of some Tier-1 banks in the country, as well as some Tier-1 banks themselves with one of said banks owning two upmarket jets themselves.
However, some of the owners of these jets have written letters of protest to the Customs Service, stating that they cannot pay import duties because the private jets in question are under lease payments.
Seplat Energy to Acquire ExxonMobil’s Nigerian Shallow Water Business
Seplat Energy Plc, Nigeria’s leading indigenous energy company, has confirmed that it is in the process of acquiring ExxonMobil’s Nigerian shallow water business.
ExxonMobil has been selling off its businesses in Europe, Africa, and Asia in recent years to focus on a few mega-projects at home and abroad.
The statement reads, “Seplat Energy Plc, a leading Nigerian energy company listed on the Nigerian Exchange and the London Stock Exchange, notes the recent press speculation and confirms that Seplat Energy, together with a partner, is in competitive discussions to acquire ExxonMobil’s Nigerian shallow water business.”
According to Seplat, there is no certainty as to the outcome of the ongoing discussions.
“Deliberations are ongoing and accordingly, there can be no certainty as to the outcome. A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate, in line with regulatory requirements,” Seplat stated.
The announcement is coming a few days after Seplat Chairman, ABC Orjiako resigned from his position as the Chairman of the company following a debt scandal with Zenith Bank Plc.
Uber to Halt Services in Parts of Belgium
Uber will stop its ride-hailing service in most parts of Belgium tomorrow after a court ruling on Wednesday which extends an order given in 2015, banning its p2p (Peer to Peer) UberPop service to also cover professional drivers who provide its ride-hailing service.
Uber told TechCrunch that it is currently closely examining the details of the ruling, in order to arrive at a decision on whether or not to appeal the decision with the country’s Supreme Court.
This also follows a temporary decision to discontinue Uber’s service in Brussels, a decision which was referred to as “exceptional and unprecedented” by the tech giant. The company said that it was merely taking a step to complain about the lack of reform rules which forbid drivers from using smartphones.
After the ruling by the Brussels appeal court, private hire vehicle drivers have been obstructing a major tunnel in the capital of Belgium.
In a statement made concerning Friday’s impending shutdown, the chief of Uber in the country, Laurent Slitsagain criticized the government for not providing a reform which it has been soliciting for, stating that the decision was made depending on regulations which are now outdated as they were written before smartphones.
The company stated that the government has promised a reform but has failed to deliver said reforms for the last seven years.
According to Bloomberg, the shutdown will not be applicable to a small number of drivers who are licensed in the Flemish region of Belgium, and are therefore still permitted to use the application. Uber confirmed that the Appeal Court ruling only applies to drivers with Brussels licenses.
In another statement, Slits stated that the tech giant is hugely concerned about the 2,000 possessors of LVC licenses (rental car with driver licenses) who according to the country chief will lose their ability to generate earnings.
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